NCERT Solutions Class 12 English Vistas Chapter 8 - Memories of Childhood

NCERT Solutions Class 12 English Vistas Chapter 8 - Memories of Childhood

here you can get the NCERT solutions for class 12  English  Vistas chapter 8 Memories of Childhood!  We have Covered the all solutions of  NCERT  textbook English   Vistas Chapter 8.
Solutions Class 12 English Vistas Chapter 8

Memories of Childhood

Page No: 100

Reading with Insight

1. The two accounts that you read above are based in two distant

cultures. What is the commonality of theme found in both of them?


The autobiographical accounts included in the “Memories of Childhood”

are by two women from socially marginalized sections in two distant

cultures of the world. One highlights the evil practice of racial prejudice

while the other talks about the hierarchical Indian caste system and

untouchability. The first part traces how the author, a Native American,

was victimized at the hands of the European staff of her boarding

school. The second account gives a picture of the hardships and

humiliations faced by the Indian ‘Dalits’ from the eyes of a third

standard student.

Although they are set in different cultures, both the stories share a

similar theme. They show the sufferings and oppression faced by their

respective communities. The practice of social stratification is rebuked

by both the authors. Zitkala-Sa’s hair was “shingled” at the behest of

Europeans who considered themselves superior to the Native American.

On the other hand, Bama witnessed untouchability being practiced

openly where people from ‘lower castes’ were considered impious and

were not even allowed to touch the people from the upper castes. From

a very young age, both Zitkala-Sa and Bama start protesting and resisting

in their own ways.

2. It may take a long time for oppression to be resisted, but the seeds of

rebellion are sowed early in life. Do you agree that injustice in any form

cannot escape being noticed even by children?


The world has been gripped in the web of stratification, oppression and

discrimination at many levels. While the adults have grown used to this,

the innocence of childhood does not understand hatred and prejudice.

However, their keen observant eye is capable enough to notice any form

of injustice and discrimination. When subjected to such evil practices,

their sensitive minds and hearts are deeply affected. Perplexed, they

often resist in their own simple ways.

In the lesson, the two girls describe their encounters with inequality.

Zitkala-Sa, in the very first line reports that her first day in school was

“bitter-cold”. For her, it not only describes the weather, but also

represents the atmosphere of the boarding school. The overly

disciplined students of the school and the European staff were

unfriendly or “cold” towards her, and the vain struggle against her hair

being shingled was a “bitter” experience for her. On the other hand,

Bama walked on her brother's footsteps to protest against the practice

of untouchability through education. She studied wholeheartedly to

reach a position where people would forget her “caste” and feel proud

to befriend her.

3. Bama’s experience is that of a victim of the caste system. What kind

of discrimination does Zitkala-Sa’s experience depict? What are their

responses to their respective situations?


While Bama was subjected to caste discrimination and untouchability,

Zitkala-Sa was a victim of racial prejudice. Zitkala-Sa was packed off to a

European missionary school where, being a local tribal, she was looked 

down upon. Her precious, long and heavy hair, which was her pride, was

shingled. She tried to resist with all her might but, ultimately, she was

forced to give up her struggle. On the contrary, Bama, who witnessed

the malpractice of untouchability, decided to blur the difference of

castes with the light of education. Under the guidance and supervision

of her elder brother, she judiciously utilized her anger and sense of

rebellion to study hard and outwit any form of prejudice. She

understood that a social change would be possible only if these so-called

lower castes make an effort to study and, thus, make progress.

It can easily be noticed that though both the protagonists tried to

protest against the injustice they faced, the paths they chose are

remarkably different. Through this journey of rebellion, Zitkala-Sa is

forced to give in; on the contrary, Bama successfully implemented her

brother’s advice to finally top in her class. While Zitkala-Sa continued to

rebel by criticizing the evils of racial prejudice through her works, Bama

opted for a more subtle way to carry forth her silent yet effective


NCERT Solutions Class 12 English Vistas